Whenever I go anywhere that I’ll probably have to wait, I take along a book to read. Even if their magazines are from the current century, I don’t often see one of interest. Magazine editors generally ignore my age group, apparently assuming that AARP Magazine is the Know-, Tell-, and Be-All as far as we’re concerned.
I do sometimes look at the magazines at the beauty shop because the conversation in the other chairs is often too juicy to concentrate on my book. I’m there for an hour or so each month so that my hair won’t be the color of a string mop. The shop owner is a magazine junkie and it’s fun to see what he has found every month. There are all the usual glossies, plus some unusual ones, like Garden & Gun. If one can get past that baffling name, it is an interesting magazine. Good thing I saw it; otherwise, I wouldn’t have known that Southern fried chicken can be an antidepressant. Forget Prozac and let Colonel Sanders be your pharmacist. That’s why we Southerners are fat and happy, according to them.
The last time I couldn’t get interested in the book I’d brought that day, I looked through the stack of glossy magazines with equally glossy people on the covers. Among them was one of the ladies’ magazines that’s been publishing since Wally and the Beav’s mom was packing school lunches. (That reminds me, did you read that Barbara Billingsley is in her 90’s now? I wonder how many times she’s had to have those pearls restrung.)
Back to the magazine: the article that caught my eye was something like What to Wear to Look Good at Any Age. I turned to it, hoping to see something that wasn’t sleeveless, see-through, or showing cleavage.
What to wear to look good in ones’ 20’s and 30’s? Why did they bother to start there? Heck, NAKED looks good at that age. Besides, is a 20-something going to look for fashion advice in the magazine she used to see on Grandma’s coffee table? No, but I would. I kept scanning. . . 40’s. . . 50’s. . . . The end.
Wait a minute! What about those of us in our 60’s? 70’s? BEYOND??? Good grief, nobody is vainer than my mother-in-law. It’s insulting that we aren’t worth even a mention. We aren’t all schlepping around in muumuus, Dear Editors and Advertisers. Are we supposed to roll over in our elastic-waisted pants and sew the white flag of surrender on our butts?
It shouldn’t surprise me. Don’t let me get started on TV and movie producers, who recruit most of their writers from college frat houses, you know. Most advertising directed toward my age group is directed at our genitals or bladders. Occasionally they’ll find a 50’s TV personality to hawk a motorized wheelchair or supplemental health care policy.
Now I’m not one to turn down a “Seniors” discount anywhere, although I feel a bit fraudulent, since at most I feel like a Jr. Senior. It’s scary to look down the shadowy road of “the golden years” if everyone over fifty is being written off as “uninteresting.” Being a senior should not be a derogatory term or render us invisible. We’d rather be thought of as prime rather than aged, regardless what our birth certificate–original or certified– says. We’re still buying green bananas.
Do people respect the wisdom of elders any more? Then again, I’m not sure that many folks pay much attention to history in general. (Not that wisdom, dignity, and age are always synonymous. Where are they finding all those shrill old bats screaming and ranting to prevent discussions about health care??? Acckkkk!!! I cringe!)
Many of us are stuck in the middle, somewhere between impatience and impotency.
A friend called yesterday to lament that sometimes she feels she’s still raising her grown kids. “It’s tough when they’re in their 30’s and 40’s. They ask for your advice, but then don’t take it.”
I feel your pain, Sisterfriend. Breast or drumstick?